Using GIS Technology to Define and Assess a Rurality Scheme Suitable for Decision Support in Health and Patient Services

Liora Sahar, Rentonia Williams, Arthi Rao, Kassandra I. Alcaraz, Kenneth M. Portier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Labeling geographic areas into rural or urban classes has implications to public policy, distribution of funds and services, as well as analysis and research. Rural-Urban classifications are often limited to dichotomous, county-based comparisons on geographies that can be too large and diverse to effectively assess and resource health care needs and services. Using an existing census tract based classification system, a modified rurality classification layer is proposed and used as a foundation layer in support of research, mission and income programs at a National Non-profit Organization. This system is analyzed by integrating with health services and program data to better understand accessibility and availability of health services, to assess available program offerings, and to evaluate the geographic distribution of health care providers and facilities. The analysis illustrates how identifying intra-rural differences can play a pivotal role in understanding patient needs, assigning adequate resources and can further support public health programs and policy implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Geospatial Research
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Census Tract Geography
  • Health
  • Patient Services
  • Rural-Urban Classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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